(Reuters) — A U.S. judge on Tuesday granted a request by prosecutors to dismiss fraud charges against a former Uber Technologies Inc. security chief who was also accused of covering up a 2016 data hack that affected 57 million passengers and drivers.
US District Judge James Donato in San Francisco dismissed the three counts of fraud against Joseph Sullivan.
Prosecutors had requested the dismissal in a court filing last Wednesday, without explaining why, after another judge ruled on June 28, they could pursue the charges.
Mr. Sullivan still faces two charges: obstructing a US Federal Trade Commission proceeding and failing to report a felony.
U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hind̵7;s office in San Francisco declined to comment. Lawyers for Mr. Sullivan did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Mr. Sullivan is believed to be the first corporate information security officer to be criminally charged with covering up a hack.
Prosecutors said he tried to hide the hack from passengers, drivers and the FTC by arranging to pay the hackers $100,000 in bitcoin and have them sign non-disclosure agreements that falsely stated they had not stolen data.
Sullivan was also accused of withholding information from Uber officials that could have revealed the breach to the FTC, which had been evaluating the San Francisco-based company’s data security after a 2014 breach.
While allowing the fraud charges to proceed, U.S. District Judge William Orrick still said prosecutors could not argue that Sullivan owed Uber drivers a duty to disclose the hack.
Orrick is still monitoring the case. Judge Donato was the judge responsible for handling the motion to dismiss.
Uber fired Mr Sullivan after learning the extent of the breach. In September 2018, the company paid $148 million to settle claims from the 50 US states and Washington, DC that it was too slow to disclose the hack.